We are pleased to announce this week’s Inspirational Women in Business series is featuring the incredible Sam Smith, Group CEO at finnCap. She established her firm in 2007 having orchestrated the buy-out of a small broking subsidiary of a private client stockbroking firm – today finnCap is ranked No1 Nominated Adviser and Broker to AIM companies. Sam is passionate about ensuring that girls and women see only opportunities rather than barriers to success in whatever industry they want to be in. Outside her duties as the CEO, Sam is actively involved in various mentoring projects and organizations such as Pinky Lilani’s “Women of the Future” awards, of which Sam is a former winner.
Sam is also a patron for the Modern Muse project, aimed at millions of young girls throughout the UK to encourage and inspire them to look at business careers and entrepreneurship as a way to achieve their dreams.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It is so hard to pick just one as I have had so many good bits of advice, but my key moment was speaking to a CEO of a very large company on our space who told me my own target I put on the business at the start, was now holding me back and I needed to think much bigger. I realised I could take the business much further than my original target and the following day I started to see things differently.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t be so open!! Communication is key for me and being open builds trust.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Listen to people and get as many ideas as possible, be openminded but trust your gut over everything else and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
We are defining a new culture in the finance world and that is so exciting. Trust and integrity need to be put back into business and in particular, financial services. Culture is crucial to this.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I find my biggest inspiration comes from our ‘nurturing ambition’ project, where we are trying to get entrepreneurship into as many primary schools in the UK. When I see the results of this and the difference learning about entrepreneurship and life skills can make to a single child who otherwise might have not been doing so well at school and realising there is another option out there, it is extremely rewarding and very exciting to think what they then will be able to achieve.